Last post, I touched on how modern liars have a tendency to talk a lot without saying anything. A common manifestation of this is attempting to create doubt where none should be by asking questions about straightforward issues and then not giving a concrete answer.
Christianity Today magazine uses this technique in a recent article:
Can Christians Trust Muslim Hospitality?
By Jayson Casper, 24 August 2018
No. Their holy texts sanction lying, Mohammed rose to power by lying and Muslims venerate him so much that Mohammed is the most common name on Earth.
Wow. That’s exactly what the article should say. Sadly, I made that up. As you might guess just from the spelling of his name, Jayson is neither that direct, honest nor politically incorrect in his discussion of Christian-Muslim tensions. Let’s fisk the real article:
The holiest of Islam’s two yearly holidays is Eid al-Adha; in Arabic, “the feast of the sacrifice.” This week, on August 21, Muslims worldwide slaughtered sheep, remembering how God saved Abraham from sacrificing his son Ishmael.
Wait, Ishmael? Not Isaac?
Though the Qur‘an doesn’t name the son, Muslims believe it was the ancestor of the Arabs that God used to test Abraham’s faith. Should Christians understand this as a theological error? Or an outright lie?
The identification matters, because Isaac is a prefiguration of Jesus, whose sacrifice saved man from his sins. Religions often have differing traditions; and for Christians, Muhammad’s conscience in founding Islam is unknown. But some Christians today are comfortable delving into the conscience of everyday, ordinary Muslims, finding deception at every turn.
The identification matters but notice Jayson didn’t answer the question. I will: Scripture is absolutely, definitely clear that it was Isaac, not Ishmael. No honest Christian will give a different answer. Furthermore, Isaac was not a symbol of Jesus. The ram caught in the thicket that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice in Isaac’s place was. Genesis 22:13. Again, there is no room for doubt or debate on this. It’s straight outta Scripture.
The idea is called taqiyya: that Muslims are permitted by their faith to lie if it will advance the cause of their religion.
Tharwat Wahba, professor of mission at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, cited a tradition of Muhammad that allows Muslims three exceptions to lie for a greater cause: War, reconciliation, and to keep a wife happy.
*GQ laughs at the third*
Might some Muslims extrapolate two of these for their experience in the West? Does the first exception imply there is a secret jihad? In the second exception, a religion of peace?
“Accept kindness and friendship, but be alert and awake,” Wahba said. “Don’t be naïve. Some have agendas.”
So what if a Muslim invites you to a celebration? The lamb might be tasty, but should Christians be wary?
Statistics show they already are.
Jayson gives five questions and zero answers. Muslims are using Muslim-style deception across Europe right now. Go read a headline, Jayson. Yes, permitting lying for the purpose of waging war leads to threats such as secret jihads. No, no “religion of peace” advances its cause through dishonesty.
If a Muslim invites you to a Muslim celebration then don’t go. His religion is false; do not legitimize it via participation. Absolutely be wary because Muslims have butchered Christians from Indonesia to Cairo to London to Canada just in the past week.
No charge, Jayson.
The 2018 American Muslim Poll from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) found only 36 percent of white evangelicals believe Muslims are committed to the well-being of America.
That means 64 percent of white evangelicals want America to continue existing.
And according to the Pew Research Center, 50 percent of self-identified white evangelicals believe there is a “great deal” or “fair amount” of support for extremism among Muslims living in America. This is often connected to a fear of Shari’ah law.
Yet according to the 2017 ISPU poll, only 10 percent said Shari’ah should play a legal role in their community.
Are the rest lying? Or are evangelicals predisposed to assume they are?
Which is it, Jayson? You don’t answer. Let me suggest a useful tie-breaker: don’t listen to what Muslims say they want. Look at what they do to the areas they take control of. Those Muslim no-go zones in Paris, are they Sharia or secular? London? Sweden? Germany? Netherlands? Bueller? Bueller?
Taqiyya is an Arabic word that has come to mean “dissimulation,” said Martin Accad, chief academic officer of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon and associate professor of Islamic Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. It is a contested allowance in Islam to conceal your true faith if under personal duress.
But in much anti-Muslim discourse, taqiyya has been redefined into a religious obligation for Muslims to lie to non-Muslims not simply for survival, Accad said, but to serve the expansionist agenda of their religious community.
Without knowing the term, the concept is creeping into Christian consciousness. (For example, Ben Carson brought it up during his presidential campaign.) And Accad wants to nip it in the bud.
“My intention is to guard us against bearing false witness,” he wrote for Ramadan last year. “Would it not represent taqiyya on our part to use a Muslim belief against Islam, by promoting a partial understanding of it?”
More Wormtonguing. Accuse the victim of the lie, how original. Notice that Accad admits that Islam allows lying in self-defense. If lying is evil except in certain situations then guess what, Islam sanctions evil. By contrast, Christianity makes no allowance for lying even in self-defense. If this Fuller Seminary creep might deny Christ in extremis then he does not belong in church authority. Christ and His saints are known by their scars, not their comfortable salaries. You’re going on my list, Martin Accad.
Like the name of Abraham’s son, taqiyya is not mentioned in the Qur‘an. But an anti-Muslim website draws attention to several references which seem to imply a license to lie.
The linked website gives direct references and quotations. It’s like Jayson didn’t expect anybody to click on the link because he doesn’t give any responding quotations or references; just a cloistered academic who tells us that Muslims don’t mean what they say and do.
The central story in Islamic tradition involves a family converted to Islam by Muhammad. Persecuted, the mother and father refused to give up their faith and were killed.
Their son wavered, maligned the prophet, and praised the pagan gods. Returning later to Muhammad, he received comfort, asked only about what was in his heart.
How is that not a license to lie? Oh, but he had a good reason to lie at the time! Total bullshit. Nobody respects a man who’s honest until it hurts.
But a far more prominent theme in the Qur‘an, Accad said, is hypocrisy. Considered a grave sin among Muslims, it is almost always followed with promises of hellfire. An expanded taqiyya definition does not mesh well.
How is that son above not a hypocrite? Hypocrisy is doing one thing while believing something different. Worshiping one deity while believing in another is exactly hypocrisy.
Amr Salah, a lecturer at the prestigious al-Azhar University in Cairo, hardly heard of taqiyya growing up, save in slander against Shia Muslims. But he was disturbed to hear how some American Christians were being informed.
“The discourse of taqiyya reminds me of how Nazi Germany spoke of the Jews,” he said. “If you say people are not trustworthy, it is dangerous.”
Muslims are taught not to look into the hearts of others to judge their motivations. And they are called to be a witness among the people. (Sumaya, the mother in the above story, was the first martyr in Islam.)
“As humans, we want to survive,” Salah said, noting the story of Peter’s denial at the cross. “The religious ideal is to not deny your faith. But the human response is to have mercy.”
Peter did evil when he denied Christ–his life wasn’t even in danger at the time–and had the dignity to be ashamed about it. Muslims look at their leaders doing evil and see license to share in that evil; we see our leaders doing evil and call them out on it because all humans are weak and need help. Wanted or not.
Hence this blog. Skipping ahead,
But beyond extremists, certainly some Muslims have an agenda. How can the American Christian discern? And should some Christians examine themselves?
“The Bible calls us to love our neighbors and our enemies. It is impossible to know someone’s intentions with certainty, and anyone is capable of having negative intentions,” said Salim Munayer, executive director of the Jerusalem-based Musalaha reconciliation ministry.
“People should be held accountable for their actions, but this is not something that the church should be preoccupied with. It is a job for the state.”
Seriously? Q: “How can we tell which Muslims want to exterminate Christianity?”
A: “Don’t worry about it. It’s not your job to find out.”
Not only is that not an answer, it’s a demand for surrender.
And in America, the state is keen to stop crime.
“Quite frankly, I have not seen that taqiyya is in any way related to this issue,” Accad said. Needless controversy has been provoked by anti-Muslim groups towards mainstream organizations which do not hide their desire to spread Islam.
Specifically mentioning the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, Accad said they view this as what God expects of them.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a known Islamic terrorist front for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood. I look forward to investigating Accad.
Rather than trying to judge whether or not a Muslim is practicing taqiyya, Wahba recommended 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love believes all things,” he said. “If you fear a Muslim is not honest, it will build walls. But love will go to him and build bridges, and be a means of witness to the gospel.”
Practically speaking, do not be afraid to join Muslims if invited to holiday celebrations, whether the recent Eid or Ramadan’s iftar fast-breaking. Trust God is at work no matter their heart, said Wahba.
“Love is stronger than lying. It is not about them, it is about me.”
Jayson Casper is CT’s Middle East correspondent, based in Cairo, Egypt.
1 Corinthians 13, the Not-Inspired Version:
Love is dumb, love is stupid and is not jealous of cuckolds; love does not brag and knows only shame, never hurting the feelings of others; it does not protect its own, is never provoked, does not take into account credible threats, does not rejoice in victory, but rejoices in the victory of others; bears all costs, believes all lies, hopes all fantasies, endures all humiliations.
That is not Christianity. That is an even lazier form of evil than using unanswered questions to undermine confidence. The evil of assuming we don’t know our own Scripture, won’t protect our own people and won’t check a single claim even if offered the link.